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Kisan Mahapanchayat: Thousands Of Farmers Assemble At Ramlila Maidan For Legal Guarantee On MSP

The Delhi Police has deployed over 2,000 security personnel at the venue. According to an advisory by the Delhi Traffic Police, around 15,000-20,000 people were likely to participate in the mahapanchayat.

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Thousands of farmers gathered at Ramlila Maidan on Monday for the 'Kisan Mahapanchayat' to press for a legal guarantee on the minimum support price amid heightened security.  

Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Morcha leader Darshan Pal said, "The Centre must fulfil the assurances it gave to us in writing on December 9, 2021, and also take effective steps to mitigate the ever-increasing crisis faced by farmers."  

The Morcha spearheaded an over a year-long agitation against the central government's now-repealed farm laws.

Farmers' demands

The farmers' demands include a legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP), withdrawal of cases registered against farmers, compensation to families of farmers who died during the protest, pension, debt waiver, and withdrawal of the Electricity Bill. Avik Saha, national president, Jai Kisan Andolan said the central government has failed to meet the demands of farmers despite written commitments.

"Thousands of cases against farmers remain pending. More than 750 farmers lost their lives during the protest and compensation to their families are unpaid. And there are several other demands which have not been met," he said. Baldev Singh, a 47-year-old farmer from Moga district of Punjab, said some members of the SKM had "gone astray" due to different reasons and the mahapanchayat also aims at bringing them together. 

Majinder Shah, part of a farmers' group which reached Delhi from Bihar's Vaishali district, claimed farmers across the country are living a pitiful state. "The rich is becoming richer while the farmers who provide food to all have nothing to eat. Only 5 per cent of the Indians own most of the country's wealth. On the other hand, farmers are required to sell their land to bear the expenses of the marriage of their children," he said.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Morcha had said that SKM leaders would speak about the impact of government policies on farmers, agricultural and migrant labour, rural workers, unemployment, rising cost of living and declining purchasing power.

The Morcha suspended the movement in December 2021 following a government assurance to consider the farmers' pending demands, including the withdrawal of cases lodged against farmers during the agitation and legal guarantee for MSP.

The farmers body had also urged the Centre to dissolve the committee on MSP, alleging that it was contrary to their demands.

Security beefed up

The Delhi Police has deployed over 2,000 security personnel at the venue.

Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the event goes smoothly, the police had said on Sunday.

The police personnel have also been deployed for crowd management and to ensure that no unauthorised person gains entry and disrupts law and order, they said. 

Traffic advisory issued

According to an advisory by the Delhi Traffic Police, around 15,000-20,000 people were likely to participate in the mahapanchayat. They were expected to start arriving at Ramlila Maidan from Sunday night.

The public and motorists had been advised to avoid roads around the Ramlila Maidan, especially JLN Marg from Delhi Gate to Ajmeri Gate Chowk, a traffic police official said.

"The Kisan Mahapanchayat is being held to press for legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP)," the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmer unions, said in a statement on Sunday.

Lakhs of farmers from various states and Union territories attended the event, it said.

(With PTI Inputs)

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